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In the News suitable for one person only. All of these categories are being defined as “vehicles” so it will be against the law to drive them on pavements, under the effect of alcohol, and when using headphones. Then there are Segways and electric scooters for a maximum of two people that can reach speeds of up to 30 km/h per hour and these will become vehicles as well but no PMD will be allowed to travel at more than 25 km/h, so they cannot achieve more than this speed. Electric bicycles cannot have a motor rated at more than 250 watts and their top speed has to be 25km/h as well. Manufacturers will have to provide certificates that their vehicles are to the new standards, and town halls can decide if they require users to register with them. The DGT are proposing follow-up legislation that will cover the minimum age for using various devices, the need for insurance, reflective jackets and helmets. With the ban on using pavements, PMDs will have to use cycle ways, 30km/h urban zones, and areas where there is a distinction between cycle ways and roads although on the same level. Cyclist groups are not impressed that PMDs will be using the same special areas or cycle ways. The first death in Spain from a PMD occurred in November 2018 when a 19 year old man with a passenger was going down a boulevard in Barcelona on his electric scooter. He was looking at Google maps on his mobile and collided with a 92 year old woman who took regular walks using a walking frame. She hit her head on the pavement which led to a brain haemorrhage and she died in hospital. Police at the scene accepted that the young man was only doing 10km/h but he was charged with involuntary reckless manslaughter. He had tried to help the woman and contacted relatives to say how sorry he was. In court this July his lawyer argued that the legal definition of being reckless in his actions did not apply and the judge agreed. The Fiscalía (Spanish Crown Prosecution Service) then reduced the offence to “minor recklessness”. The conviction for this results in a daily fine for 318 months with no prison term. The woman was a widow with no children and the nearest relatives are nephews. Because they are nephews they have no legal right to any compensation. Compensation

following death from a road traffic offence does not apply as the scooter was not then classified as being a motor vehicle. At the time of our going to press the judge had not given his verdict.

Fears of Another Construction Crisis in Spain The consultancy company CBRE have advised the Bank of Spain that although 85,000 new dwellings are being constructed at present, with the estimation of 100,000 in 2020, the costs of construction are increasing and the selling prices are not. In 2018, a total of 64,000 dwellings were completed, which is 18% more than in 2017, but this is less than the 20% of dwellings completed in the 1990s, and only 10% of those in 2008. CBRE consider that there is a current shortage of savings by the Spanish population and the prevalence of temporary work contracts means that large numbers of young people are renting not buying, because obtaining a mortgage is impossible. They also state that the main thrust at present is that families are trading up rather than buying new properties, and the second-hand market is the one that is seeing the most growth because the resale prices have been forced down because of the financial crisis. They warn that the cost of construction has gone up 5% in 2019 compared to 2018, and an average cost is now 1,636 Euros per m2. They consider that construction companies have to be very careful that demand is not less than the construction of dwellings, and if this does happen the construction industry will experience problems once again. They also point out that banks are still trying hard to reduce their stock of houses and business premises, and they are selling them off at greatly reduced prices to get rid of them. Major Port Activity in Almería In the first half of this year Almería port handled 174,000 tonnes of assorted items that were not transported in lorries, and this was seven times the figure for the same period in 2018. This increase in activity was the highest of any port in Spain. Jesús Caicedo is in charge of the port and he has explained that the enormous increase is due to container

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Profile for The Almeria Focus

The Almería Focus - September 2019  

The Almeria Focus is a local directory and magazine distributed monthly in the Almeria province of southeast Spain.

The Almería Focus - September 2019  

The Almeria Focus is a local directory and magazine distributed monthly in the Almeria province of southeast Spain.

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